Corduroy Media Intern Post #5 – B Mason Interview

Jul 15, 2012

When Uncle Carl told me that B. Mason was coming by our office to talk to me, I was really excited. Brandon Mason is a director who’s made a lot of short films and hip-hop music videos. I was excited about it not only because I really like his work, but also because he’s close to where I would want to be in a few years. He’s doing good in the music and film industry and I felt lucky to have this chance to find out how he made it in the game. I had so many questions. Also, where he comes from and where I come from, I feel like I can relate.

He came in, sat down, and talked with us for an hour…

He told me he had just been working on his thesis film. He said. it really helped him understand how good it is to work with other people. “When I was working on the film, my partner was this 39 year old white guy; like the total opposite of me. And it really made the film so much better and stronger because both of us improved it and bounced ideas off each other. He also helped it appeal to a more mainstream audience.”

I told him I really liked the lighting in his music video “Certified” with Poboylichi. He said, “Ooh thanks. Yea man, a lot of people don’t understand lighting. They just keep adding more and more, you don’t need that much; light is supposed to be dramatic, take some off and cast shadows. That reminds me of a video I really like, you know the Common song “Testify”? I know you like old school.”

“Yea, yea, I forgot what album it was on though; don’t tell me.” I said.

He laughed and said alright.

“Like Water For Chocolate?”

“Well, when you get free time, look up the music video on Youtube.”

We started talking about some of his other work. I told him my favorite one of his videos was the Pastor Mike McClure Jr. “Rock The City” short film; and which one of his own videos he was most proud of. He laughed, “let me think…” Then he said , ”My favorite was probably a documentary I made about an underprivileged school that had super high test scores. I liked it because I got a chance to really talk to those students and see what was happening.” He paused for a second, then said ”I like that about you; that you like things with substance. We’re the same.” He laughed, ”Who knows man, I could be talking to a future filmmaker. In like 5 years, you could’ve changed the world.” It was funny listening to him talking like that about me when I looked up to him.

“ I wish I could do more projects like that. That inspire people or make them feel a certain way. When you get farther along in the business, you have more of a chance to break away from this mainstream formula everyone uses to make money.” He counted off with his fingers as he spoke, ”Money, cars, girls; that gets burnt out. But it’s all business.”

“But, yea, I could’ve brought it but I don’t have it on me. The “Rock The City” film is probably my favorite one that’s online too. You know that Pastor is my best friend ? We were roommates in college.”

“Foreal?”

“Yea” He laughed.

“It’s all business. So it’s all about money?” I asked.

“Well, hopefully you can find something you love and are passionate about; it won’t even feel like work, and if you go hard you’ll make good money too. But really it’s about finding your passion.”

“I got you.”

“Yea. I remember my Dad used to say ‘You can’t be a jack of all trades and a master at none.’ That really resonated with me.”

“So you have to find something that matters to you and inspires you.”

“Right. What are you into?”

“I like learning all this video and audio production stuff. Mostly though, I write.”

“Oh, what do you write about?” He said, ”If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Mostly raps about my life but sometimes, little scripts or short stories too.”

“Oh, say man, that’s wsup. Whenever you write a good rap text or e-mail me; we’ll stay in touch. I’ll send you links of some of my projects or tight websites or whatever.”

“Cool ! Thanks man.”

“No problem,” He said,” You know, all this technical stuff can be learned; what’s more important is that creativity and good ideas with direction. Because people will read a good storyboard and say, ‘I want to be in on this project.’ So you can always hire people for that.”

He told me,“A few years ago, my Mama came up and told me she was sorry. I said

“Why you sorry Ma ?”

And she told me, “I’m sorry because when you were younger and told me what you wanted to do with your life I didn’t believe in you and now you’re living it.”

He stopped to check his phone, “Y’know, in the South its just a different mindset; more old school. You do what you got to do, stay in your lane and work hard with a 9 to 5. Don’t mess it up and try to make it. But, y’know, I was just a little boy with big dreams. And now I’m doing what I love to do. So you can do it too man.”

He laughed and said, ”I used to take pictures of everything. I still have these huge collages at home with all these random black and white photographs in them from when I was your age.”

All of a sudden he got this look on his face like he just came out a trance. He looked at his watch and started laughing. “I spent all this time talking to ya’ll, I got to go.”

“Alright man, thanks for talking to me.”

I stood up and we dapped, then he gave me his card and said, “Ay, keep in touch!”

Before he walked out the door.